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Apply for a heritage permit

How to apply

Application process

Thorough research and preparation is the best way to ensure a successful heritage permit application. These steps will help you through the process.

Getting the right professional advice at the very beginning of your project will help develop your ideas to meet both Heritage Victoria’s expectations and your objectives.

Heritage assessment and decision-making can be complicated. It is likely you will need to engage experts in heritage and other matters to assist you in the preparation of your documentation. This may include an assessment of heritage impacts, reasonable use, economic use, and other matters.

Experts can guide you through the process and assist with the preparation of required documentation. Further information on what to include with your permit application found on resources for permit applicants.

Review Heritage Victoria’s guidance on the documentation you should include in your permit application to understand what information needs to be provided with your application, and what legislation and policies Heritage Victoria will use to assess it. It may be useful to read more about specific permit topics or review Heritage Victoria’s policy and guidance.

It is important that you include all the information needed to assess your application. The more complete the information you provide with your permit application, the sooner Heritage Victoria will be able to make a decision.

If the below information is not included with your application, the statutory clock will be stopped on the application whilst the information is sought from you.

All permit applications must include:

  1. A completed and signed application form.
  2. A recent copy of title for the land.
  3. Application fee payment or fee waiver application (if applicable).
  4. A Heritage Impact Statement describing the impact of the proposed works on the heritage values of the place or object.
  5. Tree reports by a qualified arborist if tree removal is proposed or there are works being undertaken near trees.
  6. A copy of any approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
  7. Supporting documents detailing the proposed works.

If you are applying on behalf of the owner, you will need their permission to apply for the permit. Either include a signed letter from the owner in the application, or have them complete the application form in Heritage DESK.

Check you’ve collected and completed all the information that needs to be submitted with your application. Then, head to Heritage DESK to lodge your permit application.

After you lodge the application, Heritage Victoria will check it and advise you via Heritage DESK if further information is required. You should provide the information promptly otherwise the application won't be processed further.

Once completed it will be allocated to a Heritage Victoria officer to assess.


Your permit application will be referred to the responsible authority (generally your local council) for comments and consultation. If they raise any concerns, you will receive a copy of their comments and you will have an opportunity to respond.

Public notice

Public notice, or advertising, of your permit application will occur unless Heritage Victoria is satisfied that approving the permit would not harm the place.

Notice of an application might be given via:

  • notice(s) in the local newspaper
  • sign(s) erected at the place
  • the Heritage Victoria website

Heritage Victoria will let you know which notice method is required, and explain what you need to do.

The public notice period is usually 14 days. Anyone can inspect and comment on an advertised heritage permit application. We’ll send you copies of any submissions and you will have an opportunity to respond to any issues they raise.

After the public notice period, Heritage Victoria will complete the assessment of the approval. This is a report which describes:

  1. why the place or object is of heritage significance
  2. the proposal and its impacts to heritage significance
  3. the extent to which the refusal of the application would affect the reasonable or economic use of the place
  4. any submissions made
  5. impacts to world heritage values or adjacent heritage places
  6. protection and conservation matters
  7. any other relevant matter

Heritage Victoria will judge the impacts of your proposal, and may have to strike a balance between competing objectives. We consider a range of principles, guidelines and legislation to make the recommendation:

Heritage Victoria may indicate in advance if your application is likely to be only partially approved or refused. This gives you an opportunity to make changes to your application which address Heritage Victoria’s concerns. You are not under any obligation to amend the application.

A decision about whether to issue a heritage permit will be made by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, or their delegate.

Heritage Victoria has a 45 business day statutory timeframe to determine a permit application from the date of lodgement. This ‘clock’ is stopped for further information requests, public advertising or if the application is incomplete.

Heritage Victoria may decide to:

  • issue a permit for all of the works, or
  • issue a permit for some of the works, or
  • refuse the permit.

If a permit is partially approved, you will receive a copy of a permit for the approved elements, and a notice of refusal to grant a permit for the unapproved elements.

If a permit is refused you will receive a notice of refusal to grant a permit. The grounds for refusal will be listed on the notice.

A copy of the decision will be issued to the applicant, the responsible authority (e.g. council) and any submitters, and a copy will be published on the recent permit decisions page.

If a permit is granted, it will almost certainly have conditions that must be met. Please read your permit carefully, and take note of its validity period. You may need to meet some conditions before you start work on your project. If you have questions about the conditions you can chat to our officers via Heritage DESK.

Lodge your conditions through Heritage DESK. If we have questions or clarifications, we’ll get in touch. Wait to receive confirmation that the condition has been satisfied before you proceed.

Page last updated: 12/02/24